jalebis are by far my favourite indian sweet and i had a big ambition of making jalebis at home for diwali this year. however, because of a long and exhausting work week (including two days in paris), i just resorted to making the trip to southall in search of the famous jalebi junction shop that has been profiled in so many british magazines.
the best way to get to southall from central london is to take a train from paddington. in twenty minutes or less you are in southall which is india central. a gurudhwara (sikh temple) is the first building you see and then as you make your way down the main street to southall broadway, you are amazed by the sheer number of indian grocery stores, dvd shops, saree emporiums and restaurants. it's hard to escape the smell of curry all around. one in about every hundred people is white.
jalebi junction is located on southall broadway. fresh dough is piped into boiling oil and fried. the dough takes on the characteristic orange colour in the deep frying process and then is dunked into another container of sugar syrup. the jalebis are then cooled on a wire rack until they can be transferred to a brown paper bag and handed to you. it was very fascinating to watch jalebis being made and i had great expectations of how delicious they would be. alas, i was sorely disappointed.
the jalebis from jalebi junction were not the real mccoy. they were thick and overly syrupy and totally lacked the thin and crisp yet succulent taste that i have come to adore in the jalebis that you get at kailesh parbhat in bombay. oh well, that's my sad jalebi story from diwali this year.
wishing all of you a very happy diwali and prosperous new year - hope you celebrated with lots of mouth-watering sweets and loud firecrackers!